Saturday, November 19, 2011

the masochist and epistemology

I had posted earlier that I thought that the pain of the masochist is in some sense the pain of not being able to idealize the other, it is a reduction of the other. I then likened the masochist to the liberal trend in contemporary politics (liberals used to be much different in the past). I'll write a bit more on this sometime but I came across this quotation and I thought I'd share it and 2 related ones.


But let us suppose, with some leniency, that it was proved that faith makes blessed (not merely desired, not merely promised by the somewhat suspicious mouth of a priest): would blessedness—or, more technically speaking, pleasure-ever be a proof of truth? This is so far from the case that it almost furnishes a counter proof; in any event, the greatest suspicion of a “truth” should arise when feelings of pleasure enter the discussion of the question “What is true?” The proof of “pleasure” is a proof of “pleasure”—nothing else: how in all the world could it be established that true judgments should give greater delight than false ones and, according to a pre-established harmony, should necessarily be followed by agreeable feelings? The experience of all severe, of all profoundly inclined, spirits teaches the opposite. At every step one has to wrestle for truth; one has had to surrender for it almost everything, to which the heart, to which our love, our trust in life, cling otherwise. That requires greatness of soul: the service of truth is the hardest service. What does it mean, after all, to have integrity in matters of the spirit? That one is severe against one’s heart, that one despises “beautiful sentiments,” that one makes of every Yes and No a matter of conscience. Faith makes blessed: consequently it lies. (Anti- 50)

the strength of spirit might be measured according to how much of the ‘truth’ he would be able to stand— more clearly, to what degree it would need to be watered down, shrouded, sweetened, blunted, and falsified BGE 39, WTP 1041, EH V 3


Beauty hates the Understanding for asking of her what it cannot do. But the life of Spirit is not the life that shrinks from death and keeps itself untouched by devastation, but rather the life that endures it and maintains itself in it. It wins its truth only when, in utter dismemberment, it finds itself. (Phen-32)

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